In my blog post entitled “Professor Klaus is Coming to Town” I wrote about a concept in which artificial trees would be used to sequester carbon. With my limited scope on climate change, I found it to be a pretty fascinating read. The notion of capturing carbon in these fields of artificial trees was a concept that I thought was ahead of its time. Until, I came across this article on a tech blog I frequent often, Gizmodo.

The technology is being funded by former Microsoft founder Bill Gates (in the same week he also gave 100,000 dollars to ultrasound contraceptives–weird combination, eh?) A company called Silver Lining has built a device that sits in the ocean and spews tons of water into the air, creating a bank of clouds that would reflect the suns rays from the earth. According to the company it would need 1,900 ships to actually stop Climate Change and an additional 7 billion dollars in funding. Surely Wild Bill won’t mind slapping down another 6 billion dollars into the project. While this seems to be a step in the right direction perhaps, it is not absent of controversy.

Citing the lack of movement toward a binding agreement of any sort at the Copenhagen accord, they are moving forward with the project despite their not being any laws of using technology that would alter weather patterns. The team at Silver Lining claims that while constituents continually drag their feet, emission levels are continuing to rise and thus feel as though they have a civic duty to continue forward with the project. The article mentions Klaus’ idea of carbon sequestering trees but goes on to talk about launching rockets to release millions of mirrors into the stratosphere. Surely a public can support ships that create clouds rather than rockets that launch mirrors.

While this perhaps does not have as much controversy of the large hadron collider it still has the potential to send right-winged media in addition to politicians into a tiff–the device has already been termed a “weather altering device.” However, if Silver Lining’s experiment works around, it will alter things for the better.

Funding is obviously going to become an issue as more of these devices are needed. But, why is money an issue when it comes to our existence on this planet? Without life, there is no need for money. When I was in elementary school and talks of the amount of fresh water left on earth were already happening, I asked my parents why they couldn’t just filter the salt water. “Money,” said my father. Money? Seriously? We are actually going to let the “money is the root of all evil” saying win? Say it ain’t so. It certainly hasn’t changed Bill Gates as he continues to deliver these philanthropic gifts to projects he is passionate about. Why let it destroy us? As the world ends are we all going to be hoarding the money we’ve stored under our mattresses? Absolute ignorance will kill us–we need to educate the populace on what exactly these things mean in the simplest of terms and not let the media saturate with its filters.


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